Even by the high standards of Mercedes-Benz automobiles, the R107SL was something truly special. How else can you describe a two-seat convertible that managed a staggering production run of nearly 20 years from 1971 to 1989, while remaining virtually unchanged throughout?
It’s not hard to see why, either. The SL still stops traffic today with its gorgeous, sensual curves, penned by the famous Friedrich Geiger – you know his other masterwork, the sublime 300SL Gullwing. Under the hood, it was no slouch either, with engines ranging from a 2.8-litre straight six all the way up to the mighty 227bhp 5.6-litre V8. Best sampled with an automatic gearbox, the lovely SL bought European-style grand touring to an immense global audience: more than 300,000 units were sold over the R107’s production run, second only to the famous G-Class offroader.
1986 was the first year of that famed 5.6-litre V8 – and though it was no lightweight, the big burly bent-eight could effortlessly push this convertible to a top speed of 225kph. Standard equipment included a driver’s airbag, ABS brakes and a limited slip differential to help the fast SL put its power down to the bitumen.
This particular car was sold new through RBM of Atlanta, Georgia (USA), to its first owner in Aiken, South Carolina. He owned the car all the way to 2010, when the vehicle was transferred it to the original owner’s wife with only 15,000 miles. Nine years later, it was acquired by the Maserati dealer in Greenville, still in South Carolina, and subsequently sold to us.
With less than 19,000 miles on the odometer, a clean CARFAX, and full ownership records, this very original 560SL has been kept in careful custody all throughout its life.